Avoiding the Crowd, 09-22-19

I went over to the Effie Yeaw Nature Preserve for a walk — and forgot that this was their “Nature Fest” day.  D’oh! My bad. As early as it was, they’d already blocked off the parking lot (so I parked on the road) and were having vendors come in, so there were a lot of food trucks and stuff. 

I walked through where they were setting up chairs and display tables and past the huge fish mobile fish tank the Department of Fish and Wildlife had brought with them (full of live bass, trout and salmon) before I was able to get into the trails.  The weather was nice though: 55º when I got there and about 77º when I left; sunny and breezy.  It was actually pretty much perfect for the “Nature Fest” thing.

Because there was so much noise and movement in the front of the preserve, the wildlife was pretty much invisible, so I didn’t see a lot.

CLICK HERE for the album of photos.

I did see a few deer hiding out in the bushes, and at one point the mama with her twin fawns came up from the river onto the trails near me, but they all looked panicked by the noise and after their initial startle when they saw me, they took off.  I got a couple of photos of one of the fawns, but not much else. And the fawn I was able to get a photo of was the one I’d seen before with a gash down its nose.  Its nose is now pretty much healed, and it looked like he’d just lost the scab.  So… yay!

Fawn and mama Columbian Black-Tailed Deer, Odocoileus hemionus columbianus

There were Killdeer, some Common Merganser ducks, and a Great Blue Egret (quite a distance away from me up the bank) on the river as well as a couple of fly-fishing fishermen.  The water’s shallower and moving more slowly now to accommodate salmon, and it made me wonder if some of the deer from the preserve didn’t cross it to get away from the noise of the festivities. I got a short video snippet of one of the female Mergansers fishing in the river: they move along with the current with their face underneath the surface of the water to look for prey. 

A female Common Merganser, Mergus merganser

I cut my walk short and was only out there for about 2½ hours. As I was walking out, I was greeted by one of my naturalist class graduates, Charlie Russel. He had an unna-boot on one of his feet, and jokingly told me that a gorilla had stepped on his foot during his recent trip to Africa. (He got some amazing shots on that trip!) But then he admitted that he had tendon sprain in that foot, and had ignored it on his trip, but was now paying the price for that.

I also caught a glimpse of The Other Mary (Mary Messenger) at the outer parking lot getting set up for her shift the day.  She later sent me a photo of her with one of the animal ambassadors, a skunk.  She said she could use it for this year’s Christmas card. Hah! I love that!

Fellow volunteer Trail Walker, The Other Mary (Mary Messenger) and friend

Species List:

  1. Alder Tongue Gall Fungus, Taphrina alni
  2. Black Phoebe, Sayornis nigricans
  3. California Buckwheat, Eriogonum fasciculatum
  4. California Ground Squirrel, Otospermophilus beecheyi
  5. California Scrub Jay, Aphelocoma californica
  6. Columbian Black-Tailed Deer, Odocoileus hemionus columbianus
  7. Common Merganser, Mergus merganser
  8. Coyote Mint, Monardella villosa
  9. Coyote, Canis latrans [scat]
  10. Eastern Fox Squirrel, Sciurus niger
  11. Great Blue Heron, Ardea herodias
  12. Interior Live Oak, Quercus wislizeni
  13. Killdeer, Charadrius vociferous
  14. Meadow Spittlebug, Philaenus spumarius
  15. Oak Titmouse, Baeolophus inornatus
  16. Rio Grande Wild Turkey, Meleagris gallopavo intermedia
  17. Rusty Tussock Moth, Orgyia antiqua [cocoons]
  18. Sticky Goldenrod, Solidago simplex
  19. White Alder, Alnus rhombifolia
  20. White Horehound, Marrubium vulgare
  21. Yarrow, Common Yarrow, Achillea millefolium